Senator A.J. Griffin authored SB217 within this year’s legislative session, and it goes into effect on November 1, 2017. It contains minor language clarification and procedural changes for the court system that will have no effect on current registrants. There are two items that will affect registrants.
This bill mandates that registrants will be required to report to the local law enforcement authority for address verification even if the DOC letter does not arrive at the registrant’s residence.
It also mandates that all registrants living with a minor child report the name and date of birth of all minor children and the offenses for which the registrant was convicted of to the Department of Human Services (DHS). This is to be done by calling the DHS statewide centralized hotline which is also their child abuse hotline. The hotline number is:
The troubling item in this new law is the phrase that states, "Nothing in the provisions of this subsection shall prevent the Department of Human Services from conducting and completing a safety evaluation when a registered sex offender resides in the home of a minor child."
This does not necessarily mean that DHS is going to perform the safety evaluation of every registrant’s home where children reside, but it certainly gives them the legal authority to do so. We see this as the greatest infringement on our civil rights so far, and at this moment in time, there is nothing we can do except comply.
Our legislative committee has spoken with Sen Griffin with the concern about calling a child abuse hotline to do the reporting. She states that she understands our hesitancy in calling an abuse hotline and that she is going to be talking with DHS about providing a specific person to contact, either by phone or in person. Until this gets worked out, affected registrants are legally required to do the reporting through the hotline. It is our understanding that the hotline agent will be providing a reference number for the report as a way of accountability.
If you have any questions regarding this report, please address them through our contact us page and indicate SB217 within the subject line. We will connect you with a member of our legislative committee, so they can respond to you directly.